University Radio York were selected by students, staff and donors to York as the inaugural recipient of the Big Alumni Project grant, an award of £40,000 to make a transformational impact across campus

Naomi Gildert here, one of the Project Managers for the URY Big Campus Sound Project…

First of all, we just wanted to say another huge thank you to all who donated money towards the Big Alumni Project through donating to YuFund, and another thank you to all who voted for us in the final round!

Before the end of the Summer Term we installed new microphones, headphones and compressors in both of our studios, which has already improved our broadcast quality. Previously we had different types of microphone for guests and the main presenter, which caused an audible difference on our output. Now thanks to the Big Alumni Project everybody sounds equally silky smooth and radio ready, so thank you!

We have also conducted most of the computing work we had planned as part of our project, which mainly involves a revamp of underpinning technologies. This included the upgrade of a server and the addition of an off site backup server. Together this has increased the reliability, speed and resilience of our computing capabilities, and helped to stand us in the best stead possible as we enter our second half-century of broadcasting to the people of campus, York and beyond.

Our aim this summer is to complete the refurbishment of our second studio in our station to bring it up to industry standard so that both of our studios are of the same recording and broadcast quality. This will allow us to use the studios interchangeably next year and to trial run booking our facilities out to the student and staff body: the goal of the Big Campus Sound Project.

We are currently finalising designs for a new desk for the studio, and it’s looking great! We are working with a company called Knotty Ash Woodworking who are well known for refitting studios and designing custom solutions in the radio industry. They’ve made desks for stations owned by Global, like Radio X, and we are very excited to be added to that list of clientele! We’re also working closely with the University to ensure every aspect of the refurbishment is carried out safely and to University regulation. Once the desk is designed and a plan confirmed with the University, the real work will begin!

Finally, we are also going to be building a new transportable Outside Broadcast (OB) kit before the start of the new academic year. An OB kit allows us to broadcast remotely from anywhere and it’s crucial for our successful coverage of campus events. By building a new kit we will have fantastic new equipment for our coverage of Freshers’ Week 2018, and we will also be able to house our existing kit permanently on Campus East. This will make it easier for us to set up and cover events on the other campus, which will become ever more useful as Campus East expands. Your donations are truly helping us be the best we can be for everyone at York as we head into the future.

If you would like to follow the progress for our refit of Studio 2 later this summer, we will be posting photos and updates on all of our social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @URY1350. Thank you again for your donations and votes. We are so excited and grateful to have been given this incredible opportunity.